Processed Foods and Gluten: Nutrition Tips from Dietitians Jessica Jones and Wendy Lopez
When it comes to being healthier, Jessica Jones and Wendy Lopez, registered dietitians and hosts of the Food Heaven podcast, are looking to make the nutrition space more inclusive and promote ways to have healthy eating be attainable for all budgets. Through their partnership with Take Root Organics, Jones and Lopez shared their favorite “processed” foods and tips for those trying to eat healthier while on a budget.
The dietitians are “all-food-fit” and recommend canned and frozen vegetables, which are often villainized even though they are a cheaper alternative that also lasts longer. Research shows that the canning process preserves nearly all the veggies' nutrients, making them a budget-friendly solution for when you can't buy fresh all the time. Frozen vegetables, on the other hand, are frozen instantly at the peak of their nutrition, meaning that frozen vegetables likely contain more nutrients than fresh vegetables, since fresh ones undergo nutrient depletion as time passes.
Lopez recommends preserved foods as a great way to start, such as canned foods like beans and tomatoes, which last a long time. Shopping seasonally is a great way to save money, especially if you visit a farmers' market for your produce. Seasonal foods are usually more affordable and widely available.
According to Jones, one of the most common misunderstandings is that food must always be freshly prepared. People don’t realize that frozen and canned foods can be frozen and canned at the peak of freshness and that it’s about eating consistently. People also need to keep it simple and start with one item that has more nutrition.
Lastly, Jones advises not to let “perfect” get in the way of “good.” Eating healthy involves making everything from scratch and spending forever in the kitchen. You don’t have to do that; you can start with one small item that you’re incorporating at a time.
Contrary to popular belief, egg yolks are not harmful because they're high in cholesterol. Studies show that dietary cholesterol does not necessarily impact serum cholesterol. Eggs contain healthy fats that help boost HDL levels. It’s more about what other foods you’re eating with the eggs.
Unless you have celiac or gluten sensitivity, there's no need to avoid eating gluten, as it can benefit your body.
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